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Agency plans Sh24b power, irrigation project

RIFT VALLEY
By - | January 10th 2013

By EDWIN CHESEREK

A multi-billion shilling hydropower plant will be set up along River Arror in Marakwet District to boost power generation.

The project, to be funded by EU, will be implemented by the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA).

KVDA Managing Director, David Kimosop, disclosed that the Sh24 billion project will generate 70 mega -watts of power once complete.

“The project is a major breakthrough. We are asking the immediate communities to support us as we implement this flagship project,” said Kimosop.

He expressed optimism that apart from production of electricity, the initiative would open up the area to development in the near future.

At the same time, Kimosop said the water drawn from the river would also irrigate more than 6,000 hectares of land under the Arror integrated irrigation scheme.

Kimosop told The Standard yesterday: “We will utilise the water from the river to irrigate crops in the Kerio Valley to boost food security in the region.”

Apart from EU funds, the director revealed that other foreign investors that are yet to be identified by the Government would support the project under the bilateral loan pact.

The Government, he disclosed, was in the process of looking for other investors to support the implementation of the initiative for the benefit of the locals.

Kimosop noted that the initiative would scale down cattle rustling among communities living within Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties.

“Those who had been relying on banditry will shift their attention and venture into meaningful activities that will improve their livelihoods,” he added.

The irrigation scheme in the area will be under cowpeas, mangoes, beans, sorghum, millet, bananas, tomatoes and paw paws among other crops.

He said part of the proceeds from the power plant would go towards conserving the Embobut and Cherangany forests to sustain the project.

The catchment is the source of water but has for years been adversely affected by massive human activities, with calls for concerted efforts to save it. He added that the power that will be generated would be sold to the Kenya Generating Electricity Company.

He said the agency investment plan has outlined strategic policies to align itself to the devolved system of government.

KVDA is embarking on a massive investment plan targeting energy, geothermal, tourism, mineral livestock and agriculture within its jurisdiction.

This comes at the backdrop of a Sh300 million irrigation scheme being funded by the Kenya Red Cross in Tot, Marakwet East.

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